Petaluma Half Marathon

Summer is when we turn our attention to Head racing and there’s no better way of building that aerobic capacity with a half-marathon. 

This year, EBRC was represented by a women’s 8+ and Men’s Single, Jose Vergara. Here’s the chronicle of the race by Helen Keohane, team captain and one of our Founding Mothers. 

After training during a few of the hottest days on record in the Bay Area, a Women’s EBRC 8+ headed to Petaluma on Sunday Sept 3, 2017 to compete in the 14th Annual Petaluma Marathon & Half Marathon.  Last years 8+ set a course record for the Half Marathon of 1:35:09.

Thankfully the morning was cool when we launched a little after 8 am in a borrowed boat, but with our own oars. After a quick warm up in very low tide we headed across the start line as bow number 28. We established race pace at 24 stroke per minute and were on our way.

Unfortunately after our first turn and just a few thousand meters into the race we  caught a fishing line on a rigger, from a fisherman that was on shore. Maggie and Helen dropped out as bow pair to get untangled while the rest of the boat rowed along by sixes.

Once we were clear, we quickly got back to all 8 and started to pull away from the mixed 8+ from NBRC.  Solid and steady, lead by our coxswain Julian we rowed up river. About every 20 minutes we dropped down to sixes to allow the rowers to get a quick sip or wipe their brow.  Everyone was very efficient and each pair was only out for 20 strokes or less.  After the turn at the half way mark, we had renewed energy as now we were rowing with the tide.  We were able to pass the Junior women’s eight from NBRC and several smaller boats, but were never able to catch a fast Quad from Lake Merritt.

Curt cheered us on from the viewing dock, which meant we only had about a mile to go until the finish line.  Our race pace picked up with 750 meters to go and we crossed the finish line strong not knowing if we were fast enough or if our handicap was large enough to secure first place. Our elapsed time was 1:37:51 and our adjusted time was 1:32:44. Our elapsed time was a little over 2 minutes faster than our competitors from NBRC and about 5 minutes faster once the handicap was applied.

After washing the boat and getting it back on the rack, it was time to enjoy a potluck with our fellow competitors.  Medals were given out and we returned home.

EBRC will be competing on the same waterway on Sunday October 1 at the Wine Country Classic.  That race is only a 5K, but it is also on the Petaluma River

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